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SF Giants: Austin Slater Reinstated, Steven Duggar Optioned

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 10: Austin Slater #13 of the SF Giants bats in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 10, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 10: Austin Slater #13 of the SF Giants bats in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 10, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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The SF Giants announced a roster move on Saturday by optioning outfielder Steven Duggar to the alternative training site and reinstating outfielder Austin Slater from the injured list.

The return of Austin Slater’s right-handed bat could not have come at a better time as the SF Giants prepare to face off against long-time Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner for the first time ever.

I do not think the weirdness of Bumgarner donning a different uniform can be understated. On top of this, there seem to be some mixed feelings with Bumgarner’s foray into free agency and how the Giants approached it:

We will not get the whole story anytime soon, but I think the entire Bumgarner contract saga is well worth being turned into a book some day.

That said, the Giants are preparing their roster to meet the challenge that Bumgarner presents by reinstating Slater. Slater hit the shelf after sustaining a groin injury, but the good news is it was not serious.

San Francisco wasted no time in inserting him back into the lineup at the leadoff spot while facing off against his former teammate.

The 27-year-old was off to a nice start as he slashed a .347/.458/.653. line (202 OPS+) with a 13.6 percent walk rate in 59 plate appearances. This includes a 1.527 OPS in 26 plate appearances against left-handed hurlers this season along with a two-home run performance against Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw:

It did feel like the Stanford University product was beginning to find a new gear before the groin injury, so the hope is he can pick up right where he left off.

That said, the SF Giants needed to clear a roster spot and did so by optioning Steven Duggar. This has been a yo-yo season for the speedy outfielder as he has bounced back and forth between the major league roster and the alternative training site.

On the year, the left-handed bat has slashed a .107/.138/.179 line (-13 OPS+) with ten strikeouts and zero walks. Things have not gone as planned as Duggar was once tabbed the center fielder of the future, but it does not appear as if the new front office views him as such.

Regardless, Duggar is still only 26 years of age, and development is hardly ever linear, so there is an opportunity for more growth.

SF Giants: Post-Prospects Update. Related Story

The SF Giants will look to split the series tonight against the Diamondbacks after losing 6-5 in last night’s contest. Hopefully, Austin Slater will help to right the ship after a couple of tough losses this week and the Giants can begin a new winning streak.

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